Gabriel Jesus follows up Arsenal transfer links with four-goal haul as Man City send message to Premier League title rivals Liverpool with thrashing of Watford3 min read
Manchester City showed no signs of weakness in their Premier League title fight, as they thrashed Watford 5-1 to keep the pressure on challengers Liverpool at the top of the table.
Gabriel Jesus was the star of the show with four of the hosts’ goals at the Etihad Stadium – the Brazilian putting in a stunning showing after being linked with a surprise transfer to Arsenal.
Reports emerged earlier on Saturday that the Gunners are keen on signing the striker in the summer.
It’s claimed the 25-year-old is even ‘open’ to the idea of the switch, with Arsenal chiefs and his representatives in open dialogue ‘for a number of months’.
And the City star certainly sent a message to his current club, as well as his suitors, with a ruthless display against Watford.
Liverpool fans were hoping former manager Roy Hodgson would be able to do them a favour in the title race as he took his Hornets to Manchester, but they did not get their wish.
Jesus put City 2-0 up within 23 minutes of play with two simple finishes, before Hassane Kamara scored gave the visitors some hope of a comeback.
However, that hope was extinguished quite quickly, and in some style too, as Rodri made it 3-1 just minutes later with an absolute rocket.
City put the result out of sight after the break as a Jesus penalty and another tap-in from the Brazilian completed his four-goal haul and a big win for Pep Guardiola’s men.
The three points puts the pressure back on Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Everton, and also closed the goal difference gap between the title rivals to just two – City have now netted 59 times this term, while the Reds have plundered 61.
The game also brought Jesus into renewed focus, following reports from The Athletic that his future could be away from Manchester City.
The Brazil international is approaching the final year of his contract at the Etihad, which ends in 2023.
City are also believed to be closing in on a stunning move to land Erling Haaland, which would knock Jesus down the pecking order.
He has often played second-fiddle throughout his Premier League career, first to club legend Sergio Aguero, and it’s unlikely he’d want to stay and sign a new deal just to sit on the bench.
Enter Arsenal, who have reportedly been in extensive talks with the player’s representatives as Mikel Arteta looks to sign a new main centre-forward in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Having allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join Barcelona in January, and with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both out of contract in the summer, Jesus would have the opportunity to be Arsenal’s Batman after years of being City’s Robin.
Arteta has previously worked with Jesus during his career as a coach under City boss Guardiola, and it’s claimed the Emirates would be his most likely next destination if he did leave.
Jesus has made 229 appearances for City since his 2017 arrival from boyhood Brazilian club Palmeiras for £27million, scoring 89 goals and providing 45 assists.
Betting Offer Of The Day
Sky Bet: Bet £10 on Football, Get £30 in Free Bets* – CLAIM HERE
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 3 x £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ONLY REDEEMABLE ON FOOTBALL. FREE BETS ARE NON-WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS AND FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG